In this edition of 100 Days, 100 Detroit Lions, we honor the greatest wide receiver in franchise history not named Calvin Johnson.
20. Herman Moore
Wide Receiver. 1991-2001 Detroit
Hands up or down, Herman Moore is the greatest wide receiver in Lions’ history – before the arrival of Calvin Johnson in 2007. Moore, a 6-foot-4, 210 pounder, was Detroit’s number-one draft choice out of the University of Virginia in 1991. After a tough rookie season where he managed only 11 catches, he began to stake a permanent place in Motown’s football lore. Moore holds virtually every Lion career and single-season receiving record on the books. His 670 career receptions are 201 more than second-place Johnnie Morton. His 9,174 career yards are 2,675 more than runner-up Morton, and his 62 receiving touchdowns are 27 more than the nearest pursuer.
Herman also holds Lion single-season marks for most receptions in a season (123) and a single-game (14). He remains only one of five players in NFL history, the others being Jerry Rice, Antonio Brown, Brandon Marshall and Marvin Harrison, to record at least three-consecutive 100-catch seasons.
Herman’s greatest years came when he teamed with Lion quarterback Scott Mitchell from 1995-97. During that time, their duo combined for 333 receptions, for 4,275 yards and 31 touchdowns. The two players had seemingly telepathic powers as they consistently connected on their patented “fade”, “stop-fade”, and “alley-oop” pass routes. Many times they hooked up at critical points to keep Lion drives alive.
Unfortunately, Herman’s later years in Detroit were marred by injury as well as friction between himself and then-head coach Bobby Ross. The result was Herman being inexplicably be fazed out of Lion game plans. The combination of those two things kept Moore from recapturing the dominance of his mid-nineties’ form, when he was arguably the best receiver in the entire NFL. There was no question, then or now, that he was the best wide receiver Detroit fans ever saw in the Honolulu Blue and Silver.